The Work of the Living

The last bees form a cloud that fills

the sky. One dies and then

another, little motor of the brain

kaput. One by one they fall,

humless against the street


below. Children step from doorways,

jacketed and booted, doing the work

of rain, turning soft earth beneath trees.


If I call you honey is it sweeter

by the property of scarcity,

or am I tying knots by the window

before you set to work putting

flowers to sleep? Bee-rain


patters through the day. Children gather

handfuls and try to place them back

into the sky, defied. If I try to place you

in the sky, is it stringing the knowns to the knowns?

It is kinder if you turn my hands

to all of the rooted things. The last


bees quiet on the street, the grass, the rooftops,

and the children wade home for dinner.

We move to stand closer together. Honey, I say,

and it is sweeter or it isn’t.


photocredit: Maxpixel via Creative Commons

About the author

Tommy D’Addario was born in Detroit, Michigan, and has lived on both of the Mitten's coasts. He has worked as a barista, a university writing instructor, and a chef on a ranch in Wyoming. He's a second-year poet in the MFA program at the University of Montana. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Susquehanna ReviewRHINO2017, and Southern Indiana Review.

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